Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Braised Ribs Cook Off

Rachael at Fresh Approach Cooking came up with this really big cook off idea. Every one is to make brasied short ribs with a celery duo and write about their experience.

Where to start.... first off, I really am not a big celery fan. I love it raw - the crunch, the juicy watery spray when you bite into it, the clean flavor. Once it's cooked though, I really don't like the texture - way too mushy. I use celery to flavor stocks and roasting gravies, but usually just strain the celery out of the mix or put it in a blender with the other flavor enhancing vegetables and puree it until I don't recognize it anymore. So for the braised part of this meal I substituted fennel root. Still not a winner in my mind so in the future I think I'll stick to sauteed spinach or steamed broccoli to accompany the ribs and the celery root & potato mash.

I've never tried celery root and thought this as good a time as any to try some. What a pleasant surprise when cooked with potatoes and milk and mashed with a ton of butter. It was very rich, creamy and delicious with the wine gravy.

I saved the best for last. The ribs really did fall off the bone and everyone loved the richness of the gravy and tenderness of the ribs. In fact the only time we needed to use our knives was to cut the fennel!!!

Thanks Rachael for thinking this one up.


Clare Eats said...

Celeriac rocks! Love it, it is fantastic roasted too.

The meal looks great!

Ruth said...

Clare, thanks for the tip. Now that I've discovered it, I'll give roasting a try.

Rachael said...

Ruth, this is sensational! I love your subsititions and that it gave you the chance to try something new. I am also (of course) beyond thrilled you took part. I should have the round up posted next week. Oh, and great picture, it looks deee-lish!


Rachael said...

Ruth! I owe you a huge applogy and a huge thanks. You were only one of two entries for The (Second, and last) Really Big Cook-Off...I guess with the glut of events/the recipe I chose, it was less than a hit. (Sheepish grin) Anyway, thank you a zillion times over for taking part, I for one LOVED your entry, and am super grateful I got to read your thoughts.

john said...

Braised celery root is wonderful. Also I've started to substitute fennel bulb in recipes calling for celery (cooked recipes anyway) and have had pretty good luck.

Ruth said...

John, fennel is a great substitute for celery. In fact I now use it in tuna and chicken salads. It just gives the dish a subtle something and has a fab crunch.

Thanks for writing.